We live in a world in which laws define and describe the way things happen every day. They control how we operate as a country; and they control the way we function as a society. In technology, they describe everything from how software operates on a computer, to how you view trends and statistics for your business. They can help you run more efficiently, or can slow you down until you come to a complete stop.
Overall, laws can help you make decisions about core objectives that make your business unique. Once you understand their principles, you can easily use them to improve the practices in your office. Here are a few of my favorites.
Probably the most famous of all technology laws is Moore’s Law, which states that the performance of hardware doubles about every two years. Named after Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, his prediction back in the 1960s was originally about the number of transistors on a microchip. However the concept grew to include improvements in all types of hardware growth over very short time periods of time. From some of the original computers 30 years ago, the first iPhone on the market was 100 times faster and almost 500 times smaller.
In today’s world, this law continues to apply to all aspects of technology. What are you using out in the field? What programs are you using with what technology? Are tablets a part of your daily routine? Have you integrated wearable technology to make your workload more efficient/timely/organized? Getting comfortable with old technology is not an option if you want to stay relevant for your clients.
Amara’s Law was created by the late Roy Amara, a scientist and president of a California think tank. It states that we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run, while we underestimate the effect a technology will have in the long run. We see this all the time when new things come onto the market. When laptops, smartphones, or even social sites like Facebook jumped onto the scene, many pushed to incorporate them into their businesses without really considering what they would do for the bottom line. And if you implemented without seeing the true benefit, it quickly overshadowed its true potential.
New technology may enter the market with predefined goals and applications, but that doesn’t mean adaptation in society will continue down that path. Tablets jumped onto the scene as ebook readers and small devices with quick access to the online world. Yet through weeks and months of operation, they quickly began morphing into true timesaving devices as applications were built to improve efficiencies. In order to stay relevant and be where your customers are, it’s sometimes required to take a second (and third) look at how today’s technology can impact you most.
Segal’s Law simply states that a man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure. It refers to the pitfalls of having too much conflicting information about a subject and how it will impact your overall decision making process. When it comes to technology, statistics and analytics, more is often thought of as better when trying to grow a business. Yet in some cases, when data overlaps and provides conflicting views, it can turn into a challenge trying to figure out what to do next.
If you’ve become obsessed with data, numbers, and the trends you see, it may be time to take a step back and look at the big picture. While staying up to date on what technology can do for you is necessary, requiring constant updating to the “latest and greatest” item can allow you miss the power of what you currently have before you. Rely on a staff that has the ability to choose wisely and put the power you need into you hands today, while consistently evaluating newer technology and upgrades along the way. If they have the big picture in mind, they can wisely choose when to upgrade and when to keep things as they are..
One of the most applicable laws to a growing business can be observed through Conway’s Law, which states that any piece of software reflects the organizational structure that produced it. In a broader context, this same rule can apply to a host of technological systems and operations, and also allow differentiation from one company to the next.
This is what allows competition to occur in a crowded marketplace, and why there is opportunity for innovation in both products and services on a continual basis. Microsoft, for instance, will produce a product that is true to its internal structure, dictated by the core that has made them a giant in the industry for years. However, a startup can enter the marketplace with a fresh new look at a problem, and bring a similar concept into play with an entirely different focal point.
No matter what business you are in, or what your ultimate end user looks like, there is always room for opportunity. Opportunity comes from within; it’s the culture you create with your team and the structure you move forward with over time. Establishing your business culture early allows you to share that with your team. And when your team is on track, everything they do can stay true to that original goal. This is what makes your company unique, and what will give your business power in the marketplace overall.